By on August 10, 2020

gm

The Buick Encore GX, a larger, unrelated Encore with fewer cylinders than you’re used to, quietly appeared in the brand’s stable just as “pandemic” became every newscast’s favorite word. Like its Chevrolet Trailblazer fraternal twin, the Encore GX boasts a more spacious body than its subcompact stablemate and a brace of three-pot engines designer for power and thrift.

While the little Encore has been Buick’s sales leader for years, the brand says that’s already changed. Still, there are no immediate plans to ditch the GX’s smaller namesake.

As reported by Automotive News, Buick expects the Encore GX’s sales dominance to continue, at the expense of the slightly re-positioned Encore. That’s just fine for Buick, as the Encore GX’s loftier price tag means beefier margins.

With the larger (1.3-liter) of its two three-cylinder engines, the Encore GX rates a 31 mpg EPA combined fuel economy figure in front-drive guise, better than its 1.4-liter four-cylinder Encore companion. It’s also more potent, at 155 horsepower and 175 lb-ft of torque. A 1.2-liter triple can also be had, connected only to the front wheels.

To prevent too much overlap, Buick dropped the Encore down to two trims for 2020: 1SV and Preferred, with an AWD Preferred stickering for $27,095 after destination. A “base” Encore GX FWD Preferred starts at $25,095, while a top-flight AWD Essence trim (with uplevel engine) retails for $31,495 after destination.

gm

Tweener CUVs are a hot commodity right now, with Mazda’s new CX-30 capturing plenty of buyers in the not-quite-subcompact, less-than-compact space. Chevy intends to do the same with the Trailblazer, offering an alternative to the Trax and Equinox.

According to Buick’s marketing manager, Rob Peterson, the company expects the U.S. auto industry to add 1.5 million annual sales in this new segment — one GM is well-positioned to exploit. For now, the two Encores will “coexist,” he said, adding that, while the Encore posted more sales during the first half of the year, the appearance of the GX model shortly after the calendar change heralds a reversal of fortunes. In June, Peterson said the Encore GX muscled aside the brand’s former No. 1 in terms of volume.

It looks like a quick catch-up. After posting just 2,601 sales in the first quarter, the Encore GX moved 9,256 units in Q2 — a close finish behind the Encore’s 10,033. Last quarter, more than 54 percent of Buick’s volume carried an Encore badge of some type.

[Image: General Motors]

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29 Comments on “Buick Crowns Tweener CUV Its Sales Stud...”


  • avatar
    NormSV650

    Another Buick Encore success! Acura wishes the CDX would doth same here.

    Buickmam is going to be braking the bank.

  • avatar
    tankinbeans

    I can’t see how that is worth $28k.

    I’ll stick to mi Mazda. For less than $2 grand extra, I get a known quantity with an engine that’s been in service for awhile with bugs worked out.

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      They discount them pretty heavy. Maybe made in China?

      I haven’t been shopping for one, but I have noticed a lot of them on the road.

      Ladies love them for running errands, but take the SUV/CUV for longer road trips.

      There are a lot more better vehicles out there for $28K; like a Camry, Accord, Altima, Mazda, Subie, VW, etc etc

      • 0 avatar
        dukeisduke

        They’re built in South Korea (Daewoo?).

        • 0 avatar
          highdesertcat

          Bottom line: not made in America, by Americans, for Americans.

          • 0 avatar
            ToolGuy

            I know of one proud American who resides for part of the year in Mexico – what’s THAT about?

          • 0 avatar
            CKNSLS Sierra SLT

            highdesertcat
            August 10th, 2020 at 8:54 pm
            Bottom line: not made in America, by Americans, for Americans.

            -neither is my $54,000.00 SILVERADO. Made in Mexico.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            No, he’s all about saving American jobs. Until he needs he needs work done at his US house and rental properties.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            “Until he needs he needs work done at his US house and rental properties.”

            That’s not true. I did all the work during the 30+ years I was self-employed, maintaining and refurbing the rental properties.

            Also, I built my own house in the desert starting in Jan 1980.

            And I reside a lot of places, part of each year, not only Mexico, but also Vancouver, BC, Canada, and Tel Aviv, Israel, Sao Paolo and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Shinjuku, Japan, Germany and Portugal visiting relatives.

            And it’s about…. because I can. You only pass this way once. Might as well make the best of it and have fun doing it.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            Well then congratulations are in order.

            But what’s with hiring illegal aliens for decades on a part and full-time basis? You’ve freely admitted that in passing.

            Is that what helps secure your globetrotting lifestyle?

            You don’t think that impacts American workers?

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            DenverMike, you should know by now that HDC has two rules, those that apply to him and those that apply to everyone else

            In other words…

            “Bullsh!t! It’s all I am and it’s all I’ve got”

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            DenverMike, your assumptions are only partially true about all the illegal aliens which I did hire over more than 30 years.

            I hired Federico (who is an American-born Mexican independent contractor from El Paso, TX) to assist me with the projects and he brought his own crew of illegals. I did not go out personally and select illegals to work for me.

            The globe-trotting lifestyle only came about since 2016 when my wife’s parents retired and moved back to their native Germany. When they quit, we quit, and turned the real-estate business over to my wife’s youngest sister and her attorney husband in Wyoming.

            Do you have any idea how many American citizens choose to reside abroad part-time or full-time? That started long before the current administration.

            The current administration facilitated even more Americans to enjoy the fruits of their labor in an environment that provides a more luxurious lifestyle. All because of a change in national economic policy!

            No, my globe-trotting lifestyle doesn’t impact American workers at all since they still have their nose to the grinsdstone, but it sure impacts the lifestyle and quality of life of those Americans who choose that lifestyle.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            Wow! Just 30+ years hiring illegal alien crews? You are a pillar of your community. Why, there’s probably a statues of you in Mexico, Honduras, etc.

  • avatar
    spookiness

    It’s a nice looking vehicle. I say that as somewhat of a Mazda fan with an eye on the CX-30.

    • 0 avatar
      tankinbeans

      That it does, certainly better than the 4 cylinder Encore. The additional size allows for better aesthetically pleasing proportions.

      Top 3 in this class for me would probably go Encore GX, Renegade, CX-30. I may be overstepping in the Renegade, but it feels somewhat bigger than CX-3 type but definitely smaller than the Compass.

  • avatar
    CKNSLS Sierra SLT

    HighdesertCat

    Quote ” like a Camry, Accord, Altima”-These are sedans that no body wants……

    • 0 avatar
      deanst

      As someone who has always had a hatchback in my driveway, let me say this – I would never even consider a vehicle in this class over an accord. Why give up 60 hp, proven reliability and an infinitely higher level of refinement to buy one of these things?

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      CKNSLS Sierra SLT, what you say is true, “nobody” wants those cars. That’s why they are largely being discontinued. Then again, beggars can’t be choosers.

      If the need for transportation outweighs the desire to make a social statement with a vehicle, then there are some great values out there.

      But maybe not in two or three years as remaining ‘undesirables’ are sold off, auctioned off, or recycled or otherwise depleted.

      Did you know that Hertz has to sell off more than 200K rental-fleet vehicles immediately? Do you think that they will have any difficulty liquidating them?

      • 0 avatar
        CKNSLS Sierra SLT

        highdesertcat-
        I am told (have not checked it out personally) that there are NO DEALS AT PRESENT on the Hertz used cars website.

        Somebody said they looked at a pickup at Hertz-and it was only $5,000 or $6,000 less than you can buy a new one for. That’s not going to move a needle-when used car financing sits at a little less than 5% APR (preferred borrowers)-and the manufacturers financing sits at near zero APR.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    The vehicle itself is not bad but a turbo I-3 and if it has a CVT then I would stay far away from it. I like the looks but I would wait a few years to see how reliable the drive train is.

  • avatar
    ajla

    I actually got to drive one of these on Saturday. It is by no means a “luxury” CUV but it gets the “okay” rating from me. The 1.3L was passable, the price wasn’t in WTF territory, you can get it in some interesting colors, and it has a GLORIOUS off button for stop/start. I found it much better than the original Encore, which is just a never-ending nut punch.

    • 0 avatar
      spookiness

      Just looked at the website. Color selections are indeed very nice. Has heated steering and mirrors and a few other features CX-30 lacks, plus a little more room.

  • avatar

    no word about the GX recall rendering 80% of inventory undeliverable?

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